Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who guessed Sinatra?

Okay, it seems that some of you need to go back to school with my son. His teacher is always stressing the importance of following directions ... although he probably would have done the same thing. Shhh ... I probably would have, too, which is why I still entered everyone who commented and tweeted about Robyn "Girl on Raw" Law's "Travelling in the Raw" e-book (thanks to all of you, btw; I'm sure Robyn thanks you, too).

What do I mean about following directions?

If you read the turquoise-colored text at the bottom of my last post, you would have known to answer the question,"Who's singing "Come Fly With Me" in the YouTube clip I linked to at the top of the post?" For those of you who remembered to type "Sinatra" or "Frank Sinatra" in your comment, I am thoroughly impressed with both your answer and attention to detail.

For those of you who didn't, don't fret, as I decided to give you a second chance and include your names in the drawing, too. It reminded me of when Robyn bought my e-book when it first came out and was expecting a printed copy (just a slight confusion that can happen when you miss the "e"). She totally understood, so in her honor, everyone is entered anyway.

Just keep this in mind the next time I do a giveaway. I may use trivia again, and I might offer up a printed version of my raw cupcake e-book. There are only about 20 in existence that my hubby printed special for me (although I know some of you who purchased it printed out your own personal copies). So far, they've only gone out to some friends and family, our local library (yes, people have actually checked it out from our library) and I gave one to Brendan Brazier when I met him. I'll tell you more about it in a future post.

And now for the winner that Hayden pulled out of the bucket right before I posted this. I got it on video, but in case you can't watch it, the winner is ... Tashina of Logical Harmony (she actually did answer the question correctly, too). Congratulations! I've forwarded your e-mail to Robyn, who should be e-mailing you your copy soon. Thanks to everyone for playing :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away ..."

... I just couldn't resist singing/typing those lyrics while putting together today's post. I just love how that song plays in the previews for the show, "Pan Am." Makes me think about my online friend, Robyn Law of Girl on Raw, who would blog about her 9-year career as a flight attendant. I always thought it sounded like fun (looks like her and her coworker are having a blast in this pic above that I snagged from her site), and therefore, thoroughly enjoyed reading about her experience.

Robyn definitely knows a thing or two about eating raw while traveling (doesn't she look simply glowing in this pic? Yes, this one is from her site, as well), which is why I decided to highlight her new e-book on my site. "Travelling in the Raw" gives tons of pointers on how to stay raw (or at least vegan and somewhat raw) while on the road or in the sky (well, you get the idea) from someone who's been extremely successful at it, no matter where her job would take her.

And, while you're traveling for the holidays (or any other day), her e-book can help you maintain your healthy eating habits, too. I know I've gotten some tips from her site, when taking my own vacations.

Here's what you can expect inside this e-book: ideas on what equipment/food to pack and make ahead; how to research what food options will be available when you get there, whether it be shopping, restaurants, etc. or even raw potlucks; where to connect with other raw foodies; tips and tricks; and even a bunch of raw recipes.

You have no idea how impressed I was when I opened the e-book file she sent me. I knew it would be packed with incredibly useful information, but I was amazed by the professional, easy-to-navigate, well-thought-out layout and extensive list of well-known raw food chefs who contributed recipes in the back of the e-book.

These contributors include Ames of Love & Peace Lovingly Crafted Living Food, Jennifer M. Robertson of de-hydrated Modern Living Cuisine, Kristen Suzanne of Kristen's Raw, Russell James of The Raw Chef, Simone Samuels of The Raw Warung, detox and wellness coach Casey Lorraine (I want to make her cheesy carrot sauce, asap), Nicole Van Hattem from the Art of Abundant Living, Hannah of Wayfaring Chocolate, Raw Chef Jane Karuschkat and
Amber Shea of Almost Vegan Chef.

You may remember Amber Shea as being an alumni of Matthew Kenney's Culinary Academy (formerly 105 degrees) who won Living Light's 2011 Hot Raw Chef Valentine recipe video contest. Both Robyn and I entered the Hot Raw Chef 5-in-5 contest this summer, although she had an advantage over me by also having raw chef skills acquired at Matthew Kenney Academy, as well as this handsome little man in her video. If you missed it the first time, I posted her video below:

You can find a similar recipe for her Spicy Almond Noodles in "Travelling in the Raw." If you are interesting in purchasing your own copy, click here.

Robyn was also kind enough to offer one for me to give away on my site (she's such a sweetheart). To enter the *GIVEAWAY*, leave a comment below answering the question, "Who's singing "Come Fly With Me" in the YouTube clip I linked to at the top of this post?" For an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway mentioning
@Rawdorable and @GirlOnRaw in your tweet, and let me know that you tweeted about the contest in another comment.

Hayden and I will randomly select a winner on Wednesday, Nov. 30 and provide Robyn with the winner's e-mail address, so she can directly send out the e-book. Good luck to everyone :-)

*This giveaway is now closed and a winner has been selected in this post.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Munching, crunching & online shopping

Oh yum! Thank goodness I'm typing now, instead of still videotaping, as I can continue to munch on a Raw Crunch bar and tell you about where I like to shop online (sorry for both the crazy long sentence and for talking with my mouth full in our video; so rude, I know).

I must say, these bars will come in handy when I head out shopping on Black Friday with my mom, sister and Hayden, who might come along, too. They're also great for snacking when you're making your purchases online (they are so good; I'm not just reserving these for when I'm out and about).

In fact, you can buy these Raw Crunch bars online (
click on the video to see our thoughts on the bars and get a sneak peek of how they look without the wrappers on. Heads up to any vegans out there; these do contain raw honey, and I explain my thoughts on that in the video), as we were lucky enough to have them sent to us for review from OpenSky (thank you!). The online shopping site (which you may recall me blogging about in the past) currently has them for sale to its Alissa Cohen followers.

If you aren't already a member of OpenSky, you're probably wondering what I mean by followers. Well, if you sign up for free, you'll be able to follow as many curators as you'd like. Basically, by following, you'll receive an e-mail whenever one of your curators is having a featured sale (when one of the products on their page is available at a special discount). These usually last for a day or two, so you'll want to be in the know. You also cannot see the prices of these items unless you follow them.

Speaking of not being able to see the prices, as far as I can tell, you can't view the full site either without signing up first (it's like a gated community or something). That's why I thought it would be of interest, if I shared more information about it with you. Some of my readers have been curious as to how it really works. Hopefully, my post today will help clear up some of the confusion.


Signing up is free, and when you invite others to sign up, you can earn credits toward your purchases. If your friends buy something, then you receive more credits. There are even opportunities to spend what I call "flash credits" that are available for a very short, specified period of time, as a special offer, thank you, etc.

These credits are like free money to spend on your favorite/your curator's favorite things (I think of them as my personal shoppers, since they fill their pages with items they like, with you in mind, too; you can even post your recommendations for them to sell on their pages). Therefore, even when an item is listed at its regular price, you may still be able to purchase it for less money out of your own pocket.

As a stay-at-home mom, I think of this site as a little luxury in my life. I can purchase some yummy raw snacks, find items for the kids such as a set of natural art supplies, and treat myself to various fashions and accessories. I just happen to have my eye on an amazing purse made out of soda pop tops on the EcoStiletto page, and have my fingers crossed that a hot pair of Cri de Coeur vegan knee-high boots reappear on Kathy Freston a.k.a. "The Veganist's" page.

My latest purchase is a set of raw Gnosis Chocolates featured as a deal from "Spirit Junkie" Gabrielle Bernstein (she has some of the best stuff, in my opinion). I got three of the bars (the Superchoc, Aphrodisia and Pomegranate Acai), along with some Pumpkin Truffles, perfect for fall. I hope to share them with those I love over the holidays (although Matthew would like me to keep the Aphrodisia ones just for us). Delish!

I also have been using Carol Alt's Raw Essentials skincare line, that I also purchased from OpenSky. You can read more about it in this past post. This trio of products is currently marked down to a special price, so don't miss out.

I could go on and on, but I'll leave you with some of my favorite items currently on the site (I did not snap these photos; they are taken from the OpenSky website). Keep in mind that the items on there change all the time. Feel free to join via my invitation (you may even receive some credits just for joining, if you time it right) and check them out for yourself.

Ramy Walleska Ecochicc New York Clutch
on EcoStiletto's page; this is the one
made out of soda pop tops

Saky Sack Weekend Bag on EcoStiletto's page;
I believe there's a sale planned for it this weekend :-)

"The Kind Diet" autographed (membership
does have its privileges) by Alicia Silverstone
herself on her page, of course

Hapi Striped Sweatshirt & Yoga Pants
on Alicia Silverstone's page
(although the pant may be sold out)

Cri de Coeur Bird Boots on Kathy Freston's page,
but I really want the ones with the buckles
that are currently sold out

Zoku Quick Pop Maker
on Ali Fedotwosky's page; this would be great
for making homemade raw vegan ice-pops

Clementine Art Gift Set
on Carolyn Murphy's page

Stingray Claw Jewelry by Lauren Wolf
on Carolyn Murphy's page

Fitness Travel Hoop Kit & DVD
on Gabrielle Bernstein's page

Peace Love World I am Love Racerback
on Gabrielle Bernstein's page

Smoothie Shaker & "Thrive Foods" book
autographed by Brendan Brazier on his page

There are so many other items I'd love to show and curators I'd want to highlight, but you get the idea. Have fun shopping. Happy holidays!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keeping it simple for Thanksgiving

As promised, I'm reminding you about that yummy raw nutmilk cheese I posted a while back. Remember the raw macadamia-based herb cheese Hayden and I used to recreate this Punk Rawk Lab recipe/video (as well as adding it to our twist on a vampire bite cupcake)?

At the time, the "cheese" was not yet available for sale, as it is a seasonal product (best to ship when it's cold outside; they are also shipped in insulating packaging with ice packs). But, now that the holidays are coming and the temps are dropping, you, too, can purchase the same raw nutmilk cheese from and/or the other flavors (it also comes in plain and smoked).

Yes, I know that we could all make our own raw dairy-free cheese (check out Alissa of Punk Rawk Labs video that shows you how), but this time of year, it is so much easier and more special to have it sent to you instead. So, that's what I did.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I ordered a 4-pack of the cheeses in a mix of flavors (you can select all of the same flavor, but I wanted to try them all) to share. Rather than spending my holiday prepping food for our feast, I decided to take a more simple approach, allowing me to have more time with those that mean so much to me (I'm so thankful for my family).

In the past, I've made raw versions of all the usual sides (check out Natural Zing's blog for some traditional recipes or my Thanksgiving take on lasagna from last year - it's so much fun to put a spin on the traditional holiday ingredients, like in Chef Chloe's Thanksgiving Pizza; I want to "rawify" it one day), but the longer I've eaten this way, the more I prefer to just keep it simple. I might go as far as to toss together my favorite "Thanksgiving Leftover Salad," which also works for the day of the event. Then, I like to have some raw veggies (I've convinced my hubby's side of the family to include crudites for appetizers), alongside scrumptious nutmilk cheeses (my contribution to the meal; although it's raw, it tends to go over well, even with the nonraw guests at the table).

When attending Thanksgiving at a nonraw household, it's nice to be able to contribute something other guests may enjoy sampling that's also a raw indulgence for you. For example, in addition to the nutmilk cheese, I might bring along some of the decadent raw chocolates I purchased from OpenSky recently for dessert (I'll probably mention more about it in an upcoming post), instead of the usual pie.

I think Matthew's uncle (who actually makes the majority of the meal) is getting used to my unique food preferences. He's been making sure to keep some fresh green beans to the side for me before cooking the rest, and is kind enough to just bake the sweet potatoes in their skins (nothing is added; yes, I do eat some cooked, and it's usually baked sweet potatoes).

In the end, I might not be partaking in some elaborate spread for Thanksgiving, but my tummy just might thank me in the end (the probiotics in these raw nutmilk cheeses should keep my belly happy, too). Too many "gourmet" raw dishes can do a number on your insides, and I want to feel my best to do my Black Friday shopping with my mom and sister the next day.

If you are still looking for a special raw recipe for the holidays, you should try making Alissa's rustic holiday bread, which is a-mazing! She sent me some from a recent batch with my order. This recipe should be the focus of her next video (okay, so maybe her recipe won't be posted in time to make for Thanksgiving, but definitely keep it in mind for your Christmas or Hanukkah menu).

I must apologize for the less than spectacular photo, as it is not taken in natural light (food and just about everything else photographs better in natural light). I spontaneously decided to have some of the flatbread with one of the nutmilk cheeses (I selected the smoked, since I had two of them; the pepper on the outside makes it so flavorful) for dinner the evening my order arrived. Thank goodness I at least remembered to take a pic before it was gone. Yum! That raw flatbread really does taste like the holidays. Thanks Alissa :-)

And, in case you missed what I've posted over the past four raw Thanksgivings (this blog recently turned 4 years old; I've been meaning to celebrate at some point), here are some pics with links:

A Turkfruity

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Good Greens are good!

Wow! This week has been so busy. Hayden and I went to Parent Observation Day at Jacob's school (although Hayden is not his parent, the teachers were very welcoming and let her participate; she even danced and sang with Jacob in his music class), followed by her usual story time (only one more before the end of the fall session; Jacob is allowed to attend with her next week when he is off from school). We also got a chance to hang out with some of my friends from high school, and help make bons bons at our church.

Thank "good"ness I received a box of Good Greens Plus Bars in the mail to sample. The company was so nice to send three of each of the four flavors for us to try. It was perfect timing, as I tend to pack bars along with me when I'm out and about. They are so convenient to toss in my purse for when hunger strikes (along with some veggies sticks and bananas, which always seem to pack well in a pinch).

As my friends and I had never tried Good Greens bars, I thought it would be fun to do a spontaneous taste test at the table together (I brought one of each flavor, since I wasn't sure which one I wanted to try first). Luckily, I had my trusty camera with me (I have to get some photos when we get together, as it doesn't happen very often), so we videotaped our reactions.

I figured my friend Becky would be okay with the idea of doing a sampling video, since she shares a love of fresh, organic food and has allowed me to post pics of her and her son Leo on my site in the past (here she is pictured with Hayden and Leo during our Target shopping excursion).

Stacy, on the other hand, I hadn't seen in a while. The last time I did, she ate completely the opposite of me, and I wasn't sure if anything had changed.

To my surprise, she was very open to the idea of taste-testing these "green" (I warned her in advance that they contained various green foods, like spirulina, barley grass, wheat grass, broccoli spouts, alfalfa sprouts, etc.) bars, and even mentioned a good experience she had recently with spinach (yes, the food she spoke of contained spinach, but it was hidden very well).

I think she still may have been a little concerned about what the bars might taste like, but I knew the actress in her wouldn't let it show. The funny part was that when she tasted the Chocolate Raspberry bar, there was no need to act; she genuinely liked it, comparing it to a chocolate-covered candy bar with a nougat-like filling.

Three of the bars (the Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Peanut Butter) resembled candy bars due to their yummy dairy-free dark chocolate coating. I was expecting the center to be green, as I've had other chocolate-coated green bars in the past, but they looked as chocolaty as the outside.

The Chocolate Raspberry bar had a soft chocolate center with a slight hint of raspberry. It wasn't overpowering at all. As Goldilocks would say, "it was just right."

The Chocolate Coconut bar looked a lot like the Chocolate Raspberry until you tasted it. Instead of raspberry, it had a slight coconut flavor. Although Becky and I were expecting a creamy white filling like a Mounds bar, it was nice to find the less intense, soft chocolate coconut macaroon center with specks of freeze dried raspberry sprinkled throughout (I don't know why they were in there, but I kinda liked it).

Stacy and kids went gaga over the Chocolate Peanut Butter, which was the most decadent flavor of the bunch. This tasted the most like a candy bar, and probably would fool anyone in a blind taste test.

For those of you who either need to take a break from chocolate or don't like chocolate (although I can't imagine such a thing), we also sampled a Wildberry bar. Think of it as the "naked" bar of the group; it's center exposed due to not wearing a chocolate coat (I bet a nondairy white chocolate or vegan coat would also be delicious on this one).

When Stacy first revealed it to me, I thought it resembled a Power Bar. Fortunately, it had a much lighter, fresher texture and pleasant flavor. Stacy said it reminded her of the center of a berry Newton, but I think these aren't as sweet, which in my book is a good thing.

If you want to see what the bars look like without their wrappers, you'll need to watch our video below, or check out the Good Greens Bars website ( to purchase your own.

Here's some more info about the bars, along with some more cute kid pics from our day hanging our at Target and Starbucks (I got a Vanilla Rooibos tea, as recommended by Kimberly Snyder of "The Beauty Detox Solution." Love it!).

According to the packaging, Good Greens Plus Bars (the "plus" refers to the fact that these are the soy-free versions of the original Good Green Bars) supply 100% of your daily fruits and vegetables, are vegan and gluten-free. They also say "raw" on the wrapper, although after reading the ingredients, I don't believe they are entirely raw (they contain evaporated cane juice in the coating, along with brown rice crisps, brown rice syrup, etc. in the fillings). However, I do see a place for them in my high raw (not always 100% raw) vegan diet.

If you are avoiding peanuts, I noticed that there is peanut paste in all the bars. I rarely eat peanuts, but I do enjoy them on occasion, just like how I sometimes make room for some cooked vegan foods in my diet.

I think these bars are some of the best tasting bars on the market, which outweighs the fact that they are not entirely raw and do contain sugar. If I'm on the go, in for a sweet treat and want to get a good boost of nutrition all at the same time, I will certainly pack some of these along with me. They are full of superfoods and are fun to share, even with those who need to "candy-coat" what's good for them.

Speaking of candy, I've been helping with the bon bon making at my church for the past couple days. It is a fundraiser we do every year (we make larger, egg-shaped versions at Easter time). Being surrounded by buttercream, coconut, peanut butter and chocolate-filled bons bons for hours does give me a craving for those flavors. The Good Greens Plus Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Peanut Butter bars really have hit the spot.

Thanks again Good Greens! I will definitely purchase more of your bars in the future ... and perhaps my friends will, too :-)

BTW, please excuse Leo's fussiness in the video. It was his naptime ... and he really couldn't wait to try one of those bars :-)